The city of Houston already lost Rockets star James Harden, after months of trying to force his way off the roster. It has a similar situation that has been on the rise with Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is clearly upset with the direction of the franchise.
There have been very real frustrations for Watson in Houston, the franchise that drafted him in with the No. 12 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Perhaps no move has led to more confusion about the direction of the franchise than the DeAndre Hopkins trade last spring. Watson would ultimately sign a big contract extension to stay with the team after that, and the firing of head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien seemed to be the fresh start that Watson hoped for, but the organization’s dedication to executive vice president of football operations/interim GM Jack Easterby has undermined ability for the franchise and Watson to move forward amicably.
Watson’s four-year extension is worth $156 million, running through 2025. It features a $73.7 million signing bonus. It’s a huge deal, but Watson is coming off maybe his best individual year, and can make an argument as a top five quarterback in the league. There would be no shortage of teams interested in adding him. He may start to force the issue even more.
One franchise that may be a top quarterback away from a championship: the San Francisco 49ers, which were in the Super Bowl with Jimmy Garoppolo just last year. A week ago, an Instagram fan page for 49ers star tight end George Kittle posted a photo of Watson in a throwback Joe Montana jersey. Watson commented “Dope pic! 💯,” sending a wave of speculation.
Just today, new odds were released for where Deshaun Watson will begin the 2021 season. The Houston Texans are still the huge favorite, as expected, but the Niners have the third best odds at 9/1. The Miami Dolphins are the favorite among the non-Houston teams, at 3/1.
He ultimately may not have a choice but to stick it out in Houston, but it doesn’t look like Watson is going to take things lying down.
The Texans still have to hire a head coach and fill other positions within the franchise, so maybe they can win their star quarterback over once again, but it looks like a very uphill climb right now.
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